Periodontal disease in its initial stages is completely symptom-less and if left undetected will cause tooth loss. Regular check ups to monitor gum disease are an important part of any dental exam.
Monitoring gum disease
The gums should be pink, firm and healthy looking. Some of the early warning signs of periodontal breakdown are as follows:
Gum disease is most commonly caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky white substance made up of food particles and bacteria, which if left undisturbed will irritate the gums causing them to be inflamed. Brushing and flossing twice a day is essential to the overall care and well being of the gums. Regular checkups are important to evaluate the gums for periodontal disease.
The gums encircle the tooth to form a small “moat” around it. This is called a periodontal pocket, and is normally between 2mm – 3mm deep. Conventional oral aids can usually clean a normal pocket with the right technique. However, as the pocket depth increases as a result of gum detachment, due to inflammation or infection, the professional services of our hygienist should be sought to reach the deeper areas.
To assess the depth of the pocketing our hygienist will gently insert a small graduated dental probe between the tooth and the gum to measure the pocket and take a reading. Once the pockets around the teeth are measured, our dental team will be able to formulate a treatment plan depending on the extent of the infection.
Regular cleanings along with flossing and brushing at home are the most effective method of controlling periodontal disease and keeping the gums healthy.